McNicholas High School’s spring athletes have many different superstitions and pregame routines that prepare them to perform their best during practices, games, and meets. Whether it’s wearing a certain item every game, or completing a certain ritual before a race, these athletes find that following their routines increases their confidence and keeps their skills in check.
Many McNick baseball players have lucky charms they feel help them play better. “I have to wear a white under sleeve on my left arm, every game. It makes me feel more intimidating and confident,” sophomore Michael Riedy said.
Some seniors have the same superstitions that they have had their whole high school careers. “If we win a game, I wear the same compression shorts the next game for good luck,” senior Brian Massa said.
Track is more of an individual sport, but many of them share the same superstitions and pregame rituals. “Before our 4×100 relay for track, we hold the baton and pray a Hail Mary. It has been a tradition for multiple years,” junior Kate Gorman said. “We also sing oldies songs to pump us up before we run.”
Some of the track girls also wear lucky charms that boost their confidence, like junior Maria Clark and her relay team who all wear matching sports bras before big races.
Men’s senior volleyball players Marc Schmalz, Jacob Willenbrink, and Chris Hamad go to Hamad’s house and play Xbox before every game, and the loser has to pay for the Subway that they eat beforehand. “So far Jake has had to pay every time,” Hamad said.
Other volleyball players use strategic aspects in order to help ensure that they win. “We look up the good players on the other team so we know who they are going into the game and how we can shut them down,” sophomore Elliot Painter said.
The whole JV softball team has a pregame routine that they always carry out. “Before every game the team huddles around home plate,” sophomore Lilly Motz said.
Varsity Head Softball Coach Tim Ross believes in multiple superstitions such as not crossing the bats and not walking on the chalk lines. Instead of going along with the Ross’s superstition, freshman Paige Jones and some of her teammates stepped on the chalk before one of the games, and they won, so now they do it every game. “It’s now our good luck charm,” Jones said.